Rahul scored 66 runs from 107 in the 2023 World Cup final© Agence France-Presse
Despite being the best team in the tournament, India suffered an embarrassing defeat to Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup final on Sunday. The Aussies absolutely overwhelmed the hosts, be it bowling, batting or fielding, as Tavis Head’s score sealed the team’s fate in history. As pundits ponder what went wrong for India in the title battle, former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was quick to point the finger at KL Rahul. The poor batting average of the wicketkeeper-batsman in the middle order, according to Malik, cost India the match.
“KL Rahul was just trying to bat during his 50 overs. He shouldn’t have done that and should have been trying to play his game. If you’re batting in tough conditions and boundaries don’t come easy, at least you’re the one,” he said. “We had to rotate the batting. That wasn’t happening.” “There were a lot of dot balls,” Shoaib Malik said in a chat on A Sports.
“He was taking a lot of responsibility when India lost wickets quickly in the lead. If you see his innings today of 66 off 107 balls, it was not KL Rahul’s innings. He went into a zone where he just wanted to play the full fifty overs. He should have Be a little more active.”
While there is no denying that batting first was not easy on the Narendra Modi Stadium track, when compared to batting second, Malik feels the Australians were able to assess the conditions better than the Indians did.
“The venue where this match was played had a long side boundary. The Australian used that boundary very well. They said we won’t let you hit us on the ground and you can hit us at the square of the wicket. The bowlers used very different formats. Malik also stressed that the Australians assessed the Indian conditions Better than the Indians then they implemented their plans.
“Kuala Lumpur are playing very well and we’ve seen that throughout the tournament. They’re playing well in the square of the wicket, in front of the wicket, and using their feet really well. But his attitude today was that he was waiting. Maybe he didn’t trust the wicket,” Misbah-ul-Haq said at the show. “He was thinking of increasing the team to 250 people and it became difficult.”
With this defeat, India’s quest for the ICC title remains unresolved. For the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, and a few other players, this was perhaps the last chance to help the country claim its third ODI World Cup title.
The team is now back to the drawing board with the aim of formulating a better strategy for the future.
Topics mentioned in this article